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Debbie Ridpath Ohi reads, writes and illustrates for young people. Every few weeks, she shares new art, writing and resources; subscribe below. Browse the archives here.

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Debbie Ridpath Ohi FAQ > Getting Into The Business > I'm an aspiring children's book illustrator. Any advice?

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This is a list of questions I am frequently asked. Here's a list of links to my more popular pages. Thanks for visiting! -- Debbie


Q. I'm an aspiring children's book illustrator. Any advice?

Draw for fun. Draw regularly. Push yourself to draw different subjects, from different perspectives, try drawing things you don't normally draw.

Look at as many illustrated books as you can. If you can't afford to buy them, go to the bookstore and just browse. Go to the library. Know what's out there. What do you like and why? What don't you like and why? Make a list of the books you like the most and then research what publishers are creating them, who the illustrator is, the art director, the editor.

I didn't become a children's book illustrator through traditional means. I graduated with a degree in Computer Science and have no formal art training. What I did do, however: DRAW. I drew comics, doodles and sketches constantly. I still do.

Join the SCBWI, CANSCAIP (Canada) or other organizations focused on children's books. Meet aspiring and experienced children's book illustrators. Attend conferences and events where you can meet others in the industry.

You can find more advice in my list of Advice For Young Book Writers and Illustrators From Children's Book Creators.

Also see related FAQ entries:

Where else can I find useful info about writing and illustrating for young people?

How do I get my story in front of an editor?

I just finished my first picture book manuscript. What should I do now?

I just finished my first MG or YA novel. What should I do now?

I'm an aspiring children's book illustrator. Any advice?

Useful related resources:

Penguin Random House's senior art director Guiseppe Castellano's post about how he looks for illustrators

Last updated on June 6, 2017 by Debbie Ohi